Volkswagen has an idea for a new concept car that — take a deep breath — has nothing to do with the coronavirus pandemic. 

On Tuesday, the German company unveiled its very electric idea for its next generation of microbuses: The e-BULLI, a converted 1966 T1 Samba Bus, is fully electric, but delightfully retro. This particular converted model was built in Hannover, Germany and in a previous life would cruise along the roads of California. Now, it can go 124 miles on a single charge with its 45 kWh-lithium ion battery. (Behind the bus’ back license plate you’ll find the charging port.)

The T1(also known as a Type 1) bus’ innards look very different from its ’60s glory days, as its interior is fairly modern with wood floors and a new paint job. The eight-seater has a digital display (with information about the range, important for an electric vehicle), but still maintains plenty of its analog vibes. It might seem like a simple retro radio in the front, but there’s a hefty dose of tech packed in with Bluetooth and USB connectivity. You can even connect the car to a Volkswagen mobile app. 

Take a look:

Some modern flair.
Some modern flair.

There’s also a panoramic folding roof. Genuinely awesome. 

Room for eight.
Room for eight.

In Europe, VW bus owners won’t have to look longingly at this concept car as, well, just a concept. Electric bus conversions are available for $64,900 euros (just about $64,900 USD, as well). 

It’s just too bad that, with social distancing, we can’t all pile into VW’s upgraded hippie van for a much-need escape.


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